MTV has selected 11 artists to watch in 2012, a select group of up and comers it will showcase through its Play Until Someone Hears (PUSH) franchise.
The list includes Frank Ocean, the R&B crooner affiliated with Odd Future, Avicii, the Swedish DJ whose song “Levels” has been ubiquitous in 2011 and Lana Del Rey, the indie music blog darling set to make her major label debut.
During the first two weeks of the year, the artists’ videos will run interstitially between programs while the entire list will constitute a playlist for MTV’s morning show AMTV (as well as MTV 2’s AMTV2). Throughout the year, each artist will also have a PUSH week dedicated exclusively to them.
MTV has constructed such lists before, typically opting to air it in a one-off program. This time around, MTV is going multi-platform and multi-screen.
“While music discovery still happens across multiple screens, music consumption has definitely shifted to digital platforms,” said Amy Doyle, executive vice president of music & talent at MTV. “Fans now have more opportunities than ever to have immediate access to an artist, including viewing music videos, live performances and interviews to following them on Twitter or Facebook. With fans having all this access, there’s a real need for curation; for someone to help fans cut through all the clutter and help them discover new music and artists.”
The full list is as follows: Frank Ocean, Walk the Moon, Lana Del Rey, Dev, A$AP Rocky, Avicii, Electric Guest, Kendrick Lamar, Fun,. Alabama Shakes and Wallpaper.
Here is Del Rey's video sensation "Video Games" (story continues after):
Nelson said her team was looking “for artists that have substance and aren’t just studio darlings.”
Hence it is unsurprising that all three artists TheWrap spoke with — Avicii, Walk the Moon’s Nicholas Petricca and Wallpaper’s Ricky Reed – credited their relentless touring schedules in 2011 with their inclusion on the list.
Aviici, born Tim Bergling, estimated he has been home less than a month in 2011.
“Next year I think we’re definitely going to make more time for music," he said. "This year has been really crazy; I did like 280-300 shows. I can’t keep up that tempo.”
What was the only continent he didn’t stop off in?
Africa, though one would guess Antarctica was not treated to his beats either.
Said Reed of his schedule: “I’ve been on tour like a maniac, like a f***ing lego maniac. But you know we’ve had some real breakthroughs. People I respect and admire, other artists started vouching for me and getting with me in the studio. As soon as that started happening, the caliber of the writing and production stepped up and we had a creative renaissance right around this time last year.”
And Petricca of his band’s breakout: “Besides our independent release, it was our music video that got us any attention at all. YouTube has changed the course of everything – the fact that anybody can see any video any where in the world at any time.”
Here's Walk the Moons' "Anna Sun":